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Dean's Alumni Newsletter: May 2005

Photo: Richard Lariviere

Dear Friends,

Spring commencement is just around the corner and our seniors are preparing for their last set of final exams. We wish them well in their future endeavors and look forward to keeping in touch with our newest set of alumni and hearing about their successes.

We greatly appreciate the feedback we get from all our alumni and I'm pleased to hear frequently from many of you that these messages are important to you. Your comments and your support are important to us.

We are at a significant moment in the evolution of The University of Texas at Austin. The traditional compact between the state and the university has changed. When many of you attended UT the cost was nearly free. Twenty-five years ago the total cost for one year at UT was one percent of the average family income. It is now three percent and it is not hard to see the day when it will be 10 percent. None of us on the campus are happy about this trend. We are working to contain costs, and we will continue to do so, but we are in an environment in which 80 percent of our costs are personnel who are in high demand, highly sensitive to market forces, and highly mobile.

How we move forward from this moment will depend in large measure on the support we have from the Longhorn family. What you are doing now makes a difference. What you do in the future will determine our place in the hierarchy of US institutions. I'm proud to tell you that right now our trajectory is one of rapid and dramatic improvement. With your help we can sustain that trajectory. Please visit the College giving web page to learn how.


Dr. Alison Frazier (History) was awarded a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship to complete her study of Sanctuarium, a two-volume collection about medieval saints' lives that was printed in 15th century Milan. She is the first female recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship from the Department of History. She also was awarded a Villa I Tatti Fellowship from The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies to support research on Sanctuarium as well as other Italian Renaissance projects. For more information about Dr. Frazier, read the rest of the article in the college news section.

Dr. Gregory Knapp (Geography and the Environment) was awarded a nine-month research grant from the Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship Program to study "Water Management, Livelihoods and Landscapes in the Andes." This is Knapp's second Fulbright-Hays Fellowship. For more information about Dr. Knapp, read the rest of the article in the college news section.

Dr. John Higley (Chair, Government) was selected by the American Political Science Association's Committee on the Status of Blacks in the Profession to receive its annual award for advancing the professional development of African Americans within the discipline. The award also recognizes the department which, through close collaboration with the Center for African and African American Studies directed by Dr. Ted Gordon, has recruited six African American scholars during the past three years. For more information about Dr. Higley, read the rest of the article in the college news section.

Juniors Lauren Gilstrap (Plan II Honors, Business Honors) and Rebekah Perry (Plan II Honors, Government and Philosophy) have been awarded Harry S. Truman Scholarships. The 75 Truman Scholar recipients were selected on the basis of leadership potential, intellectual ability, and likelihood of �making a difference' from among 602 candidates nominated by 299 colleges and universities nationwide. Each Truman Scholarship provides $30,000 for graduate study. For more information about the scholarship winners, read the rest of the article in the college news section.

The Beinecke Scholarship Program has awarded Ashley Gosselin-Ildar (Anthropology Honors) a $32,000 scholarship to pursue her graduate degree in physical anthropology. She is one of only 18 recipients selected from a nationwide pool of applicants. For more information about Gosselin-Ildar, read the rest of the article in the College news section.

Graduate student Karline McLain (Asian Cultures and Languages) won the Outstanding Dissertation Award given by the Office of Graduate Studies for her examination of the social, cultural, religious and economic dimensions of the popular cultural comic book series in India: Amar Citra Katha. This was one of four university-wide awards for doctoral degree recipients and it includes a $1,000 prize.


Spring commencement at The University of Texas at Austin will take place May 20 and 21. The College of Liberal Arts has several commencement ceremonies during the two days for students from its departments and centers. Please visit the college commencement web page for a complete list.


The spring issue of the College of Liberal Arts alumni magazine, Life & Letters, is now available on the college web in the alumni section.


Dr. Sam Gosling's (Psychology) findings on dog's personality traits were featured in the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune.

Dr. Tom Palaima's (Classics) opinion piece on the need to accept differing views appeared in the Austin American Statesman.

Dr. Eric Stice's (Psychology) research findings on the eating habits of adolescent girls were widely covered in media outlets around the nation. Coverage included the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Associated Press and New York Times.

Dr. David Oshinsky's (History) new book POLIO: An American Story was broadly covered as well. Media coverage included U.S. News & World Report, the Los Angeles Times, the Financial Times, The Washington Post's Book World and PBS' Newshour with Jim Lehrer.

Dr. Guy Raffa was quoted in an Investor's Business Daily article on Dante.

The Austin American Statesman included a feature article on Dr. Paul Woodruff (Philosophy) following the release of his latest book First Democracy: The Challenge of an Ancient Idea.